Settings Series - Org Settings

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In the upcoming Settings series we are going to cover some of the key settings to review once your Org is created.  We've focused on having the Org creation process as simple as possible, and because of this there are many settings where a 'default' value is used when the Org is created.  By customizing the 'Organization Settings' to meet your needs you can increase the impact that andon makes with your team.

Once you've opened the organization settings page you will see the 'General Settings' section:

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Here there are 6 key settings that can be modified:

  1. You can indicate whether or not you want to require a comment when the user changes the light status (red/yellow/green) in the 'Collect' page.  These comments show up in the 'Production Status' report for red and yellow lights
  2. You can indicate whether or not you want to require a comment when the user marks a failure in the 'Collect' page.  These comments show up in the failure pareto page on the 'Production Status' report
  3. You can change the default time zone (you set this initially as part of the org creation).  This time zone is used as the default value in the Metrics page and also is used to determine when to reset the yield alert calculations (yield alerts reset at midnight every night in the time zone indicated here).  You will want to use a time zone that is meaningful to your metric reporting audience.
  4. You can update the 'QTY before yield alert' to indicate the threshold at which yield will be reported as red, yellow, or green in the metrics page.  Any production quantities below this threshold will show up as a 'grey' background on the yield in the 'Production Status' report
  5. Update 'Production hours per day' to change the denominator used in the %Uptime metric in the 'Historical Trends' reporting
  6. Adjust the 'Yellow yield range' to show the threshold for when yield status moves from Green -> Yellow and from Yellow -> Red.  The lower end of the range (when the yield crosses from yellow to red) will also indicate when a yield alert will be generated (assuming the 'QTY before yield alert' threshold has been crossed)

These 6 settings can have a large impact on the reporting that you share with your team, and so you want to make sure you are updating them to meet your needs.  For additional details, see our 'Org Settings' guide (link here) from the Support page.

Metric Series - Qty Produced

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In this blog post we will cover the 'Quantity Produced' metric.  This is one of the metrics that is shown in both the production status page and available for charting in the historical trends page.

This metric shows the number of 'passed' units (NOT including 'failed' units) produced off of the line or station.  A the station level, this is simply the number of passed units for that station.  When shown at the line level, it is the number of 'passed' units produced at the last station for the line.  This provides a true indication of the number of units coming off of the line.  If your station sequence needs to be changed, this can be completed in the line and station settings page by using this guide [link here].

While this is a very simple metric, they way in which we've intuitively rolled up the calculation from the station level to the line level enables you to quickly view qty produced across all of your production lines before diving deeper into station level details

 

 

 

Metric Series - Uptime

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Another great metric that is automatically generated by andon is %Uptime.  This metric is an excellent way to quickly view how much time is spent building product (when the time counter is running on the 'collect' page) versus the standard number of hours worked in a day.

This metric is calculated using the same methodology regardless of whether it is at the line or station level:  Total amount of time spent producing units / (number of stations x production hours per day).  For example, if an operator at a station logs 4 hrs worth of units produced in the 'collect' page for a given day and there are 8 production hours in that day then the %Uptime would be 50%.  The 'production hours per day' is managed by your org admin in the organization settings page.

With andon, we've focused on delivering powerful metrics like this while still maintaining an incredibly simple user interface.  In the end, this provides your team with a strong suite of metrics for monitoring production performance that will enable you to determine root cause quickly when your team runs into issues

 

 

Metric Series - Status Time

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One of the insightful metrics generated by andon is %Status Time.  This view (example above) shows the time split between red, green, and yellow light status for each line or station.  At the station level this is percent of time spent in each status.  For example, if a given day had 12 hrs in green light status, 8 hrs in yellow light status, and 4 hrs in red light status the split would be shown as 50% green (12/24 hrs), 33% yellow (8/24 hrs), and 17% red (4/24 hrs).  At the line level the same methodology is applied, just that all of the times in each status for each line's station are added together.

Having these insights into how status is trending over time is incredibly useful for root causing production output issues.  This is one simple but clear way that andon extends value beyond a traditional stack light.  The great thing about andon is that these powerful view are generated from very simple red/yellow/green input data.  As always, we focus on maximizing value to you while maintaining an incredibly simple and intuitive platform.  For more details on historical trends, see the guide on the support page [link here].

 

Metric Series - Yield Calculation

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In this new series we will be highlighting how each of the key metrics are calculated.  If your org is brand new to andon then of course you won't have a large data set to show historical metrics.  In this case the demo org [instructions to join here] can be a great resource for viewing metrics as it has a built-in comprehensive historical data set.

Today we want to highlight the Yield metric.  For each station, yield is calculated by taking the # of 'pass' units produced and dividing by the total number of units; in short: # of pass/(# of pass + # of fail).  For each line, yield is calculated by multiplying all of the individual station yields together. 

With andon you can graph line and station yield on the same chart as shown in the screenshot above.  The results are often very compelling - clearly showing how issues at stations have a compounding affect on the overall performance of the line.  With these views you can target the problem areas quickly and work with your team to implement and evaluate corrective actions.  While simple, this metric is very powerful at quickly pinpointing areas to focus improvement efforts.

 

Feature Series - Easy Line/Station Setup

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One key thing that we've focused on with andon is the ability for users to quickly set up their org and begin collecting production data.  There are a number of ways that we make it simple to create an org, but for this entry I wanted to highlight what we are doing with line/station setup.

On the 'Create Org' page we ask you to enter the lines and stations for your org.  Most companies have very similar names for each stations in a line, and so andon will automatically associate every station with every line that you enter.  From the above example, the org would be set up with:

  • Line 1
    • Assembly
    • Test
    • Packaging
  • Line 2
    • Assembly
    • Test
    • Packaging

In this way a significant amount of redundancy is reduced in the org setup process.  If any modification is needed, it is easy for the site admin to make the updates using the Modify lines and stations guide on the support page [link here]

For more details on creating your org see the Create new org & add users guide on the support page [link here]

 

Feature Series - User Authentication

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Authentication is always a challenge when working with software designed for the manufacturing floor, because typically production operators do not have the same account access as their office counterparts.  In a lot of the manufacturing environments that I go into operators do not even have their own corporate email address or operating system logins.  This can cause an issue for SaaS web apps if a base assumption of the software is that the user has a corporate email address.

With andon, we paid special attention here to make sure that our authentication process is seamless regardless of the method used to authenticate the user.  Our web app allows the user to authenticate using any email address or facebook/google/microsoft account.  Once authenticated, your site admin gives the user a token that allows the user access to the org within the web app.  This allows andon to establish common user identity within your org regardless of the login method each user chooses, and allows your site admin to retain control over each individual user's access to the app.  

For more details on adding users to your andon site, see the Create new org & add users guide on the support page [link here]

 

 

 

 

Feature Series - Auto Refreshing Dashboard

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One key concept in lean manufacturing environments is having visual indicators throughout the production floor to allow the team to see the status of a particular line or station.  The idea is that these indicators increase visibility and reduce response time by allowing support teams and management to quickly identify where help is needed.

Andon extends this concept into the modern age with our auto-refreshing production status dashboard (example image above).  This page in the web app has a built-in timer that automatically refreshes the data every 5 minutes- allowing you to set up dedicated screens on your production floor that show this view in real time.  While subtle, this auto refreshing dashboard feature can make a HUGE difference in the effectiveness of your production monitoring.  As always, we've focused on creating a simple but effective way to maximize value with this feature.  For further details on the production status dashboard, see the Review production status guide on the support page [link here]

 

 

Feature Series - API for recording production data

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From my days as a manufacturing engineer at an electronics manufacturer I am familiar with burden of having to train operators on how to use a new user interface, and the challenge that can exist with data accuracy when operators are manually recording production data.  Sometimes this is the only way to quickly roll out production monitoring on your production floor, but for a lot of companies manual user input can simple be a no-go for production monitoring.

One of the great features of andon is that we overcome this issue by also offering API calls that allow you to fully automate the process of recording production data.  This can give a completely seamlessly user experience on the production floor- allowing you to post production data to andon from your existing automation.  In fact, using the API calls andon can be implemented in a way that is completely in the background to your existing production process.

As always, we've focused on providing a simple but powerful API solution so you can implement quickly.  For further instructions see the API guide on the support page [link here]- we think you are really going to like how easily the API's can be integrated into your existing production automation.

Andon is live!

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The web app has officially been online the past few weeks, and we are excited to begin working with companies who want use this product to monitor and improve their manufacturing processes.  We see a lot of opportunity especially for small to mid size manufacturers with significant portions of their processes done by operators (electronics assembly/test, etc).  Andon excels in these types of environments because it is quick and easy to set up and allows you to start receiving critical insights into your processes in a matter of hours rather than days or months.

We are looking for companies to partner with to incorporate feedback from direct user experience with Andon on the manufacturing floor.  This can be a win-win opportunity as your key feedback will allow us to tailor the product to best meet your needs.  If this is something that interests you, please reach out us by filling out the contact form [link here] to kick things off.